Freight coordinators are administrative professionals who work for shipping, transportation and logistics companies. Though their duties are mostly clerical in nature, some freight coordinators also handle billing functions for warehouses and manage customer orders and pickups. Freight coordinators must juggle a variety of tasks and have a strong attention to detail to perform their jobs effectively.
Freight coordinators are responsible for routing incoming and outgoing communication regarding freight shipments and transportation needs for their companies. These positions usually support freight executives by answering and transferring phone calls and recording and relaying phone messages. Coordinators also process shipping and receiving reports by entering data into spreadsheets and electronic databases. Other freight coordinator duties include stocking office equipment and supplies, filing freight and transportation documentation, distributing and sending out office shipments and acting as a front office receptionist.
Freight coordinators should have a high school diploma and basic office training. Professionals can receive training at a vocational school or community college that offers office administration courses in computer technology, bookkeeping, transcription and project management. Online classes are also available for administrative and secretarial professionals.
Since freight coordinators occupy primarily administrative roles, employers prefer candidates with strong communication and project management skills. Experience with computer software such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and Access is a plus. Freight coordinators should also possess analytical, time management and customer service skills. Some employers require that freight coordinators have knowledge of accounting standards and principles, as well as previous work experience in the freight industry.
Freight coordinators earn an average salary of $38,000 according to a May 2010 report published by Indeed.com. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition,” shipping, receiving and traffic clerks earned a median salary of $27,660 as of May 2008.
The BLS projects that clerk positions in shipping, receiving and traffic companies will decrease 7 percent from 2008 to 2018. Some of the factors contributing to this decline include the introduction of computer software and document scanning technology, as well as large-scale automation in warehouses that use robotics and machines to collect, process and direct shipments. Although shipping and receiving clerks will experience negative job growth, administrative and secretary positions are expected to increase 11 percent during the same period. Administrative professionals with strong communication and computer experience will have the best job opportunities until 2018.